Bytes Universal Systems (BUS), together with its international partner Teradata, has made a call to corporate South Africa to realise the power of Big Data and put in place strategies to ensure data-driven decision making in order to propel business growth. The call was made at the Teradata Innovation Forum, co-hosted by Bytes Technology Group.
According to Hermann Woestefeld, PS Manager at Teradata, Big Data has become a misconstrued buzzword, like cloud computing, and this undermines its true value. Rather than being regarded as merely large, unstructured data sets, Big Data ought to be a strategic imperative employed by businesses to predict consumer or business trends, and then set commercial targets around those trends.
Woestefeld made a call to large businesses to recognise the value of generating and implementing plans to collect, store, and analyse data and to recognise it as a key tactic to maintain their market advantage by anticipating customer expectations and conducting competitive analysis.
Woestefeld presented the concept of the “Logical Data Warehouse”, a pooled, centralised data platform that delivers strategic and operational analytics to the business. He added that the common barriers to implementation in large businesses are more cultural and organisational in nature as many less technically-minded executives required that the potential value of Big Data be articulated to them before embarking on the employment of the platform.
“The goal is to understand Big Data better and employ it more effectively,” Woestefeld said.
With certain preventative barriers such as computing and bandwidth costs rapidly decreasing, companies ought to re-evaluate their traditional business model and see Big Data as part of a long-term information strategy, and ensure that the aggregation of customer or supplier data is integrated to inform future decision-making.
Keynote speaker at the forum, renowned scenario planner Clem Sunter, highlighted cyber-terrorism and cyber-crime as key “flags” in the way organisations and countries assess their current and future positions. Sunter cited the recent example of how Russian thieves were able to extract £650 million from British banks through simple malware applications. This was not a “sudden heist” said Sunter, but a gradual, stealth process of siphoning money out of the banks. He argued that organisations had to take cyber threats seriously, and emphasised the business imperative of data protection in a digital society.
As Africa’s largest locally owned ICT service provider, Bytes Technology Group is able to bring international data warehouse best practices to the South African market, and through a solid understanding of its customers’ core business, is able to help them make better business decisions.
Teradata, founded in 1979, brought the concept of Big Data into the consciousness of business in the 1980s, and has since become a market leader in the storage and protection of data through its flagship Data Warehouse System product.